Four Upper School Episcopal students recently attended the Annual Louisiana Junior Classical League Convention. The students were coached and lead by Episocopal’s JCL sponsor and Latin/Spanish teacher, Micheal Posey.
The Upper Latin certamen team (think quiz-bowl for the Classically-minded) was captained by 10th grader, Abhay Basireddy and included fellow, 10th grader, Madi Bell. Certamen teams usually field teams of four players. Even against those odds, Basireddy and Bell placed 3rd in the state for Upper Latin Certamen. Episcopal’s small delegation also placed 3rd in the Ludi Spirit Contest during Friday’s opening assembly.
At the LJCL Convention, students participated in academic, creative and graphic arts contests as well as seminars, workshops, a Roman banquet, dance and karaoke. The students also captured the following individual awards:
Abhay Basireddy: Latin III
1st place: Latin Derivatives
1st place: Latin Grammar
1st place: Latin Mottoes, Phrases and Abbreviations
1st place: Latin Reading Comprehension
2nd place: Latin Vocabulary
3rd place: Upper Level Certamen
4th place: Roman Life and Customs
5th place: Latin III: Latin Sight Reading
5th place: Marathon (Olympika)
7th place: Academic Sweepstakes (all levels!)
Madi Bell: Latin IV
3rd place: Upper Level Certamen
4th place: Latin vocabulary
4th place: Latin Reading Comprehension
5th place: Latin Grammar
5th place: Academic Decathlon
Justin Dynes: Latin III
3rd place: Latin Grammar
2nd place: Latin Reading Comprehension
Arya Patel: Latin III
1st place: Map (Creative)
2nd place: Ink (Creative)
3rd place: Latin Vocabulary
3rd place: Latin Reading Comprehension
3rd place: Latin Derivatives
Episcopal African Heritage Club
Congratulations to four members of the Episcopal African Heritage Club! A team of students including Madi Bell, Zykia Howard, Justin Thompson and Serena Thompson recently placed first in the 25th Annual Collegiate Black History Quiz Bowl hosted by the Southern University Ag Center and the College of Agriculture.
River Road Chapter of National Charity League
The Episcopal robotics team had a great showing at the recent Rock City Regional competition in Little Rock. Students did a great job of scouting the competition and making improvements to the robot with each match. The group performed well in qualifying matches and was even chosen by another team to be a part of an alliance in the quarterfinals.
District Literary Rally Winners
Congratulations to Katie Knight! Katie earned second place in the Literary Rally's art competition. Her piece, entitled Hand with Ice Cube, received recognition in Category III 2D Color: Drawing, Print-Making, Photography and Digital Art. The art exhibit is a district only event unique to the Southeast Louisiana District Literary Rally.
Congratulations to the Episcopal District Literary Rally winners!
Students qualifying for District and State and earning a Southeastern Scholarship are:
Ajit Alapati – Principles of Business
Abhay Basireddy – Advanced Math – Pre Calculus
Clay Burton – Calculus I
James Christian – Advanced Math – Functions and Statistics
Eugene Jiang – Algebra II
Celia Kiesel - Civics
Joy Lee – Biology I
Carter McLean – Spanish II
Alex Nelson - Chemistry
Adam Reid - Physics
Bethany Reid – Spanish IV
Justin Thompson – French III
Gracie Veillon – Calculus II
National Essay Contest Winner
Episcopal's gold and blue mock trial teams faced tough competition at the recent regional mock trial event. Congratulations on a great showing! Read more about the event here.
National Classical Etymology Exam
Eight students from Episcopal recently earned recognition on the National Classical Etymology Exam (NCEE). Congratulations to the following students:
The NCEE, which was administered in October by the National Junior Classical League, is based on English vocabulary words that are derived from Latin and Greek with an emphasis on academic and SAT vocabulary words. The contest measures a student’s mastery of Latin and Greek derivatives.
Upper School students recently hosted the sixth annual LAUNCH Day to celebrate learning. The student presentations were entertaining and impressive. Visit the LAUNCH webpage to watch the student presentations.
On Friday, February 23, Episcopal fielded two Mock Trial teams at the regional Mock Trial competition at the 19th Judicial District Court House in Baton Rouge. The gold team advanced to the semi-final round and faced tough competition from the team from West Feliciana. The case problem, Blake Carver vs. Theta Lambda Pi Fraternity, Inc., was a wrongful death civil case involving an alleged hazing incident at a Louisiana Alligator Farm. The teams were coached by attorneys Chip Marionneaux and Joseph Scott. Congratulations on a great showing!
Saad Ali - Sophomore
Austin Broussard - Senior
Mason LaFerney - Senior
Alyssa Macaluso - Senior
Morgan Patty - Senior
Ashley Solomon - Senior
Wilson Russ - Senior
Lauren Bothwick Hoff - Senior
Tess Cunningham - Senior
Meghan MacMillan - Senior
Grace Marionneaux - Sophomore
Ben Naquin - Sophomore
Douglas Robins - Senior
Soledad Robins - Freshman
On Thursday, February 21, Episcopal Upper School hosted its 6th annual LAUNCH event, a day created and run by students for students to celebrate learning. The day featured presentations from Thesis and ESTAAR seniors, AP Artists, KnightVision Robotics, and Dance Master Seminar. LAUNCH is 100% student-run, this year with juniors staffing locations and stages, Brenley Rinaudo and Caitlin Davis working behind the scenes on decorations and promotions, Cruz Crawford and Elliot Dugas serving as hosts, Bake Club organizing a cake decorating competition, and many students and teachers performing during LAUNCH Pad. This year’s presentations featured a little bit of everything: topics ranged from nanoscale insects and cognitive dissonance, to interdisciplinary learning and the historiography of Billy the Kid; the Student Center was transformed into the Claire Hook Art Gallery; KnightVision Robotics led an interactive game with their audience; and we all even sang Happy Birthday to Mr. Forti. It was a day that celebrated learning and strengthened connections among one another. Thesis Director Katie Sutcliffe reflects on this year's experience below. Look for LAUNCH student videos in future editions of Knightly News.
On the day before this year’s LAUNCH, a group of Upper School Thesis students stood around the long table in Perkins 106 during lunch eating cake and celebrating Ethan Wax’s 18th birthday. Just one day away from each of them presenting to the entire Upper School, the students could have been somber and still, quiet with worry and anticipation. But instead, the group stood laughing as they each began reciting pieces of each other’s presentations, teasing each other by declaring the lines that had stood out the most over the weeks of preparation and rehearsal. Everyone was in stitches, affectionately validating each other with humor and love. It was just the moment I needed as their teacher. I needed to laugh with them, too, though all of us knew the stakes were still high--that tomorrow our audience deserved to see our very best work.
Last year during this LAUNCH recap article, I talked about the tireless work that goes into these types of presentations that each student faced with relentless practice and perseverance. It made me uncomfortable to think that their audience only saw just one piece, the final piece, of what was a long journey of preparation. And because Episcopal’s mission promotes process and product, valuing the entirety of the learning journey, it bothered me to know that the audience could never really appreciate the failures and struggles and twists and turns each student made as they prepared.
The final product can mask that whole messy story, and this year I also realized that part of that story is the community built, the relationships strengthened, the character developed. And I think every teacher and coach can appreciate this. While final assessments, products and performances are valued greatly, the learning often runs deeper, so much deeper than we see at the end of the unit or test, and students bring their entire experience, not just the final experience, to their future work. As we stood laughing together, the positivity was contagious. I realized that the students’ success might be measured by their performance on LAUNCH but their learning could also be measured by the growth shown, obstacles overcome and camaraderie nurtured.
While sometimes loud and overt in the classroom, what is often more subtle during LAUNCH is how these learning communities support one another in various ways. Madeleine Cope’s gorgeous performance featured five other dancers, many of whom also presented as part of Dance Master Seminar. In that same performance, Thomas Hugenroth produced an original guitar piece for Madeleine’s soundtrack. Then on LAUNCH Day, he hopped from his own presentation in the Blackbox to perform “Down to the River to Pray" during LAUNCH Pad with Concert Choir and back to another round of presentations. Todd McInnis stood in as Billy the Kid for Austin Broussard’s presentation, and Madeleine Cope, tall hair and all, became Marie Antoinette.
Maya Angelou said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The information and content may fade from the audience’s mind in the weeks or months following this most recent LAUNCH, but what we hope lingers are feelings of curiosity and inspiration, bravery and joy. My own students will, eventually, forget their talking points and scripts, but I’m certain they will remember the feeling they had when they connected with their audience, when they realized that taking that risk and being vulnerable is okay here. It is safe to be yourself, to share your ideas, and to encourage others to do the same.
Ashley Solomon’s final line of her LAUNCH presentation said: “...nothing, absolutely nothing, can replace feeling loved and cared for.” Each year when LAUNCH ends, what’s left behind are feelings of support and love--the most powerful ways to encourage thriving and learning ambitiously and fearlessly.
Katie Sutcliffe has served in many capacities involving writing and service learning over the last six years at Episcopal. Currently, she directs the Thesis Program, teaching both Seminar juniors and Thesis seniors, and is the co-creator of LAUNCH, Episcopal’s annual TEDx-style student-planned and executed showcase of ideas and projects. Katie’s own history involves this blend of service and writing: after graduating from a small liberal arts college in Indiana with an English degree, she moved to the Deep South with Teach For America where she taught middle school English and worked passionately on issues of educational inequity. She later earned an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh and returned to Baton Rouge where she has continued freelance writing. Katie infuses social justice initiatives into her curricula and seeks to help her students make meaningful connections with those living a different experience within our larger community. She’s passionate about character education and project-based learning, as well as research and writing that have practical implications for understanding and addressing real world challenges.
After a long day on the job, running errands or even just fighting Baton Rouge traffic, many of us can’t wait to return to our home to relax and unwind. Home. It is the place where children take their first steps, where teens pin a corsage on their first date and where families simply enjoy time together. Home represents a larger sense of community. Home is hope. Home can provide strength, stability and self-reliance. But what if owning a home is out of reach?
According to the US Census Bureau, 58.8% of homes in Baton Rouge are owner-occupied. Nationally, that number is 64.4%. This means many local residents don’t have that oasis to call their own. For the past 17 years, Episcopal students and faculty have been working with Habitat for Humanity of Baton Rouge to boost homeownership in the local community and help more families realize the dream of having a place to call their own.
The annual Habitat Youth Build is supported by Episcopal, Catholic High School and St. Joseph’s Academy and sponsored by the Albemarle Foundation. Lynn Clark, Habitat Executive Director, says since 2001 students and faculty have built 19 homes for area residents. “It’s amazing to witness the generosity and hard work of the students, teachers and faculty as they come together to make a difference in the life of a deserving local family,” says Clark.
The annual Habitat build is Episcopal’s largest service learning project every year. Service Learning Center Director Matt Holt says annually more than 100 students contribute hundreds of hours of service to the effort. In addition, numerous faculty and staff members help organize the shifts in advance of the build days and spend time on site chaperoning student activities. Holt says students are not there to observe. Students are donating sweat equity as they install siding, framing and plywood. They also put in windows, cabinetry and landscaping. While the thought of such physical work may intimidate some, Holt says everyone who participates walks away with a sense of accomplishment and pride. “There’s nothing more meaningful than helping someone achieve the dream of homeownership,” says Holt. “It is a pleasure to share this experience with our students.” The significance of building these homes is not lost on the student builders.
“The act of building a house is both physical and metaphorical - we are not only literally raising the walls on a structure that will eventually be a house, but we are also metaphorically creating a new life, a new beginning, for someone,” says senior Alyssa Macaluso, who appreciated the opportunity to be stretched beyond her comfort zone. “I smashed more than my fair share of fingers, bent more than a few nails, but it’s an experience that I hope I have the ability to repeat again. Habitat’s an amazing opportunity, at any point - from raising the walls to putting up siding and painting. In addition, the experience of having a future homeowner work alongside you as the house comes together is both beautiful and precious.”
Aside from lessons on the proper way to frame up a window or how to cut in with a paint brush, Youth Build students are also learning what it means to help their neighbor. “These students learn firsthand about poverty, its effects, and the need for affordable housing,” says Clark. “They are uplifting our community one family at a time.”
“Working for habitat is probably one of the most demanding service projects that the Center for Service Learning sponsors,” says senior Douglas Robins. “To me, however, it is the most rewarding.” Robins recognizes the importance of creating a home for families, where they can come together, relax and escape the stresses of the day. “When we think about what a home is in this way, the work that we are doing with habitat is more than just building a place for people to sleep. We are building a set for a family to live out their lives. Like I said, Habitat is hard work. But what brought me back and what will continue to bring me back is that through building a home, I am not just building a structure, but I am building a future. A future for all the people who will lay their heads on the pillows for this family and for the families who inhabit it for years to come.”
Habitat of Baton Rouge has built or rehabbed 353 homes in the local community. At each build site, current and future homeowners work side-by-side with volunteers, with each homeowner completing 255 hours of their own sweat equity. These homeowners purchase their homes with an affordable, no-interest mortgage. In addition, Habitat provides the homeowners financial literacy classes to help them budget and manage their finances so that they can sustain their home for years to come. Clark says all of this is critical for providing more families a safe and stable home. She says families who own their own home flourish, build wealth and break the cycle of poverty. High homeownership rates have also been shown to boost a community’s overall home values, lower crime rates and improve school systems.
Episcopal senior Emily White recognized the impact to the community as she arrived at the build site. “I learned that the row of houses leading up to the one we were working on were all Habitat Houses! That’s awesome,” she says. “I hope the owner of the house enjoys her home and I really want to see the finished product of this project.”
Students and faculty are able to make such an impact in just four weekends. Senior Pierson Luscy says the time spent was well worth it. “Before doing this service, I was looking for a job to attend on my weekends or as much as I could, but after going through the experiences, I dealt with, being great people and enthusiastic attitudes, I am planning on shortly to make Habitat for Humanity apart of my weekly routine” he says. “For the first time in a very long time, I felt like I did something productive.”
Seeing the students’ passion and excitement for helping a neighbor is rewarding for the Episcopal faculty and staff who volunteer their time. “In working with Habitat, I see Episcopal students at their best – compassionate, cooperative, flexible, funny,” says Writing Center Director Dr. Alan Newton. “They’re also handy with a paintbrush or a hammer.” Longtime Habitat supporter Sarah Pulliam agrees. “This is one of the most worthwhile things we do with the kids,” she says reflecting on the sense of accomplishment students and faculty feel after working a shift on site.
After the hammering and painting has stopped later this month, a Baton Rouge mom and her two daughters will have their own home. They will cook in their own kitchen. They will take pride in making the space their own. We are proud of the all of the students and volunteers who supported this effort to make their dream a reality.
Episcopal Entrepreneurs Earn Seed Funding
Congratulations to Abhay Basireddy, Akshay Basireddy and Charlie Roth! The three young entrepreneurs recently pitched their ideas to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge (YEABR) investor panel. Each student received funding for their business proposals, which included Instabrush, Native Bash and Reaction Relief.
U.S. Presidential Scholars
Congratulations to seniors Maggie Ewing and Douglas Robins for being selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program began in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. The program’s mission is “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”
AirPods Math Team Takes Second Place
Congratulations to the Upper School AirPods math team for earning second place at the recent Tri-Math Tournament hosted by the LSU Math Circle. The team, consisting of Robert Alleva, Abhay Basireddy, Nick Johannessen, Evan Jurkovic and KC Shimada were one of 106 teams from 36 schools in 12 states to compete.
Little Knights/Superior Success
Congratulations to the following Episcopal students who earned a superior rating at the recent Louisiana Federation of Music Club’s Piano Solo Festival.
District Literary Rally
Episcopal will be well represented at this weekend’s District Literary Rally at Southeastern. Good luck to the following competitors:
James Be and Akshay Basireddy – Physical Science
Joie Lee and Autumn Reynolds – Algebra I
Scott McAdams – Geometry
Suzie Heneghan and Thomas O’Connor – World Geography
Abi Pennington and Sarah Laiche – French I
Alex Hollier and Meredith Thompson – French II
Carter McLean and Nicole Guy – Spanish II
Girls at the Museum
Making a Difference One Swing at a Time
Sixth grader Sophia Macias continues to use her love of golf to make a difference in her community through her very own nonprofit – No Worries Just Birdies. Recently her fundraising efforts have paid off in an impressive way as two new AC units were delivered to cool down the Live Oak Middle School gym. Up next? Her team is hosting a men’s retro basketball tournament on February 22nd and 24th. Check out the No Worries Just Birdies Facebook page to learn more about the tournament.
WBRZ Fans Choice Luncheon
Episcopal senior football player Austin Jemison and Head Coach Travis Bourgeois recently attended the WBRZ Fans Choice Luncheon along with other 2018 Fans Choice Awards football honorees.
Division II State Champions! The Episcopal boys indoor track team finished in first place at the recent state meet. In addition, the girls team improved upon last year’s ninth place finish by earning the sixth place spot this year! See the Episcopal highlights below.
4 X 200 boys relay - third place - Andrew Gould, Trevor Babcock, Kirk Singletary and Todd McInnis
4 X 800 boys relay - first place - Austin Broussard, Greyson Yorek, Logan LeBlanc, Trevor Babcock
4 X 400 boys relay - first place - Todd McInnis, Austin Broussard, Andrew Gould, Trevor Babcock
4 X 800 girls relay - third place - Madeline Dansky, Mary Katherine Underwood, Jenny Stauss, Adele Broussard
Trevor Babcock – individual state champion in the 800; Todd McInnis finished third
Adele Broussard – individual state champion in the 1,600, fifth in the 800 meter
David Whitehurst – individual state runner-up in the 1,600; Austin Broussard finished fourth
James Christian – individual state runner-up in the 3,200; David Whitehurst finished sixth
Clayton Braud – individual state runner-up in the high jump; Greyson Yorek finished fourth
Andrew Gould - sixth place in the 60 meter dash
Oliver Jack - fourth place in shot put
Greyson Yorek - eighth place in pole vault
Clayton Braud - fifth place in triple jump
Francie Oliver – third place in the high jump
Mary Katherine Underwood - sixth place in long jump, sixth place in the 800 meter
Hall of Fame
Look for future updates on student success in upcoming editions of Knightly News.
Congratulations to this year’s National Merit Finalists and Commended Scholars!
Episcopal students are known for academic excellence and the school’s consistent high number of National Merit Finalists reflects that. Such success and recognition has real meaning and value for our students as it translates into university scholarship dollars and college admissions.
According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, close to two million students compete each year, with approximately 15,000 making it to the final round. Finalists are top scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT test in their state. Commended Scholars are recognized for their outstanding academic promise. The selection committee reviews student grades, activities and leadership, as well as school information to determine the winners. Scholarships are then awarded from the National Merit Scholarship Program, corporations and colleges and universities.
Please join us in congratulating these outstanding students.
On Saturday, January 26th Episcopal placed 2nd in Division 1 at the Baton Rouge High Mu Alpha Theta math tournament. There were 142 students from six high schools and three middle schools in Division 1. Episcopal brought 37 middle and upper school students to compete in subjects from Algebra 1 to Calculus BC.
1st – Joie Lee
Honorable Mention – Sacha Dernoncourt
Honorable Mention – Carter McLean
1st – Joy Lee
1st – Abhay Basireddy
3rd – Arya Patel
1st Algebra 1 Team – Autumn Reynolds, Ivy Jiang, Hayden Singh, Joie Lee
2nd Comprehensive Math 1 – Carter McLean, Suzie Heneghan, Akshay Basireddy
1st Comprehensive Math 1.5 – Nils Dernoncourt, Eugene Jiang, Joy Lee
1st Calculus A Team – Clay Burton and Lara Rende
1st Pre-Calculus Math Bowl – Abhay Basireddy, Justin Dynes, KC Shimada, James Christian
3rd Upper Interschool
Congratulations to the following Episcopal students on their recent accomplishments! Look for updates on additional student news in future editions of Knightly News.
On Saturday, January 12th Episcopal placed 1st in Division 2 at the Catholic High Mu Alpha Theta math tournament. The tournament was attended by approximately 700 students from 32 schools. Episcopal brought 54 Middle and Upper School students to compete in subjects from Pre-Algebra to Calculus BC. Click here to read the individual results.
Lower School Battle of the Books
Congratulations to the Lower School Battle of the Books winners! Students were quizzed on Wish by Barbara O’Connor, FRAMED! by James Ponti and I Survived the Attack of the Grizzles, 1967 by Lauren Tarshis. Every student participating received a Raising Cane’s gift certificate. As a special treat, members of the six winning teams had the opportunity to travel to Raising Cane’s for a celebratory lunch together.
This year’s winners are:
Sam Huff, Aiden Grassman, Oscar Worrell
Regan Danos, Morgan Murphy, Eloise Tharp
Anne Bradley Ewing, Emma Waguespack, Marshall Elliott
Brennen Botos, Jacob Hutchison-Johnson
Diya Kankar, Sophia Fivgas, Andi Randall
Conrad Pulliam, Nate McLean, Colton Richard, William Vincent
Robards has been competing in national competitions for ten years. Her horse Cirona and trainer Janet Talmadge joined her at the recent clinic.
Congratulations to the following Episcopal faculty members.
Episcopal’s theater duo Louis and Paige Gagliano recently earned recognition in the 2018 BroadwayWorld New Orleans Awards. Paige earned Best Direction of a Play (local) for her role as the director of Theatre Baton Rouge’s Gideon’s Knot. Louis earned Best Lighting Design for his role as lighting director for Theatre Baton Rouge’s Cabaret.
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On Saturday, January 12th Episcopal placed first in Division two at the Catholic High Mu Alpha Theta math tournament. The tournament was attended by approximately 700 students from 32 schools. Episcopal brought 54 Middle and Upper School students to compete in subjects from Pre-Algebra to Calculus BC. Congratulations!
5th – Luke Stelly
4th – Akshay Basireddy
5th – Hayden Singh
Honorable Mention – Sacha Dernoncourt, Autumn Reynolds
2nd – Scott McAdams
2nd – Joy Lee
4th – Eugene Jiang
1st – Abhay Basireddy
5th – Arya Patel
Honorable Mention – KC Shimada
Honorable Mention – Mason LaFerney
1st – Arohi Gopal
2nd – Alex Nelson
3rd – Elaine Gboloo
5th – Adam Reid
6th – Andrea Norwood
1st Potpourri – Alex Nelson, Andrea Norwood, Elaine Gboloo, Arohi Gopal
1st Comprehensive Math 1.5 – Landry Litel, Nils Dernoncourt, Julia Frazer
2nd Comprehensive Math 2 – Savannah York, Laura Gboloo, Allison Binning, Arya Patel
1st Pre-Calculus Math Bowl – Abhay Basireddy, Gregory Field, KC Shimada, James Christian
2nd Middle School Interschool